If At First You Don't Succeed

I love quotes, especially quotes from movies.  Some of my favorite lines come from characters that are trying to inspire; either themselves or another character. 

"Try not.  Do, or do not.  There is no try."- Yoda

"The day may come when the courage of men fails...but it is not this day."  Aragorn

"It ain't about how hard you hit, it's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward, how much you can take and keep moving forward.  That's how winning is done."  -Rocky Balboa

These kinds of lines inspire me.  They inspire me when I watch the films.  I download files of them and mix them in with my playlist when I'm at the gym.  I think we all need motivation every now and then.  I know I do.

Recently I realized an area of my chosen career that I had neglected- Baking. Cooking is fun and intuitive.  "A little of this and pinch of that" goes a long way in cooking.  Not so in baking.  Baking is all science and percentages.  You must be exact in baking or things turn out wrong.  Many professional baking recipes aren't measured in cups or tablespoons but in percentages.  It can be very intimidating.
In culinary school, I took one quarter of baking.  I didn't excel in it as I did in my other practical courses, at least by my personal expectations.   I think because of my sub-standard performance I wrote baking off.  "I'm not good at it, " I thought.  I poured myself into other flavors and cooking styles and strived to be excellent at those.  I figured I could just let the bakers do the baking.  

I quit trying. I quit moving forward.  I did the opposite of what I found inspiring in some of my favorite characters.  So I began to change.  Starting in the summer, I worked for days, that turned into weeks, and now into months on improving my baking skills.  I traveled to some establishments that my peers and colleagues were working in to glean some skills and trends.  

I find enjoyment in baking now.  It's not my favorite part of the culinary world by any stretch but I feel better knowing that I can judge quality baked goods from average goods.  The Lexington School Dining Hall will benefit.  Look for our In-House Honey Wheat Bread (to be made with honey from TLS bees when available) and our In-House Raisin Bread.  Our crew is also working on In-House Garlic Cheese Bread for pasta days, Hoagie Rolls for sandwiches as well as other baked goods!
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